I am going to write as me for this article – as this is a personal point of view – about teacher’s pay. I am not going to suggest that teachers are paid more. You see, it is already controversial. Teachers work 10 months a year, the pay for which is spread over 12 months – I believe if they were given two more months of pay, then the salary would feel generous. Suddenly, UPS 3 classroom teachers would earn £42K as standard.
Teachers have a chance of earning additional monies, through examining and writing and this is made possible because they are given extensive holidays. This bolsters educator’s finances up to a potential £3 or £4K a year or more, if they become more senior and build a portfolio it would be much more. At the height of my examining and writing portfolio I earned a further £15k on top of my teacher salary.
But, there came a time when I couldn’t maintain this portfolio because teaching became more than a 10 month a year job. The holidays became a weapon to beat teachers with and to use as an excuse for upping workload. Holidays were now a period where I was expected to catch up from last term and get ahead for the next term. And, I was expected to do this for free – because I was only paid for 10 months of the year. No-one outside of teaching – I’m not sure many people in teaching – realised that the salary was spread over 12 months but for a contract that covered less time. So, nobody felt working in the holidays was too much to ask of teachers.
Therefore, I am not asking that teachers are paid more. I am just going to ask that they are paid the monthly rate they are paid now – but for all 12 months. This feels fair to me, when teachers’ holidays are continually eroded by additional workload.
But, in return, I do believe that teachers should be subjected to performance targets for increase in salary. UPS is currently unfairly distributed, based on each school’s policy. Some teachers just have to keep breathing long enough to get the top performance payment. Some teachers have to meet stringent performance targets and engage in whole school leadership, to achieve the top scale payment. This is unfair.
So, appraisal or performance management should be linked to performance related pay. This means to achieve the upper pay scale – and only the upper pay scale – teachers should be subjected to numerical performance targets. Yes, it is tough to achieve a percentage outcome when dealing with children – they are individuals, they are unique. However, we know what kids can achieve if inspired by a teacher willing to bust a gut. So, it is a fair way of rewarding teachers.
I have upset most of the country of teachers and been guffawed by politicians. I never claimed I was offering a popular point of view about teacher’s pay – but made you think a little.